Linguistic Nativism: There’s Something Between the Ears Language is something that humans use and

1300 WordsApr 23, 20196 Pages
Linguistic Nativism: There’s Something Between the Ears Language is something that humans use and encounter every day. Whether it be writing a paper, reading an email, talking to your best friend on the phone, or asking someone for directions, the use of language is broad and heavily intertwined with experiencing the world in the human condition. But the question of how humans come from being silent babies to speaking children is still unanswered. Linguistic nativism is one theory that addresses the question. This paper is meant to present Nativism generally, and Linguistic Nativism specifically, and the address the arguments for and against the theory. Nativism is the view in philosophy that knowledge of some skills or information is…show more content…
This is similar to something like puberty. Under normal conditions, a human will undergo puberty. This is due to biology, and certain data that is received that the body is ready for such changes, and it is not something that can be learned. Along with the language faculty, Universal Grammar is another theory that comes out of Linguistic Nativism. Universal Grammar says that not only is the ability to acquire language innate, but so are certain grammatical structures. In any two given languages, there may be differences in the subject-verb-object order, or differences on how to make the past and future tenses, and differences on how to negate, but still languages generally have all of these structures. These similarities across languages lead to the theory that humans have within them a universal grammar that defines the underlying structure of all human languages. Regardless of word order, basic concepts like nouns and verbs are still there. The Poverty of Stimulus argument is the main argument in favor of Linguistic Nativism. The Poverty of Stimulus argument states that when learning a language, the data set is small, and sometimes inaccurate, but still children are able to acquire competency with language. The poverty of stimulus argument argues that because of the limited data set and inaccuracy of what little data there is, language should be un-learnable for children. But since children do learn language, this

More about Linguistic Nativism: There’s Something Between the Ears Language is something that humans use and

Open Document